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Building on increased arrests and seizures, joint drug task force to continue

Posted yesterday in Columbus & Lowndes County

On Oct. 2, agents with the Columbus-Lowndes joint narcotics task force executed a search warrant on a 10th Avenue South residence and recovered approximately 20 pounds -- or $46,000 worth -- of marijuana alone.

City converts all debt to private, risking credit rating, transparency

Posted 10/23/2020 in Columbus & Lowndes County

Columbus may lose its credit rating by the end of the month due to delayed disclosure of its Fiscal Year 2019 audit report, according to an Oct. 1 press release from Moody's Investors Service, a rating agency that assesses the city's borrowing credibility each year.

Life Church pumpkin patch open through Halloween even as 'big' pumpkins have yet to arrive from New Mexico

Posted 10/22/2020 in Columbus & Lowndes County

Linda Brown, event coordinator for Life Church, said the church's motivation for its pumpkin patch is to bring the community together, but first they'll have to bring the pumpkin patch together. The "patch" is all set up at the church's property on Frontage Road just east of the Highway 82 exit for Golden Triangle Regional Airport. The "pumpkins," however, are in New Mexico.

Confederate monument relocation could get OK from MDAH by end of month

Posted 10/22/2020 in Columbus & Lowndes County

Lowndes County officials may soon receive the go-ahead from Mississippi Department of Archives and History to move the Confederate monument on the courthouse lawn to Friendship Cemetery, according to county engineer Bob Calvert and MDAH officials.

3 CPD officers disciplined for body camera violations

Posted 10/21/2020 in Columbus & Lowndes County

Columbus Police Department issues dominated Tuesday night's city council meeting, which ended with three patrol officers appearing before the council in executive session for apparent violations of the department's body camera policy.

Downtown business cited for mask violations after owners publicize their opposition to city order

Posted 10/20/2020 in Columbus & Lowndes County

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves allowed the statewide face mask mandate to expire on Sept. 30. In three weeks since, local mask requirements that remained in place since the governor's action have generally been accepted as a fact of life among businesses in Columbus and Starkville during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Monday Profile: William 'Jack' Smith celebrates 103rd birthday amid second major pandemic of his lifetime

Posted 10/19/2020 in Columbus & Lowndes County

Wayne Smith isn't sure how aware his dad is aware of COVID-19. It wouldn't be the first time William "Jack" Smith was unaware of a global pandemic. Born in 1917, Jack Smith was a year old when the Spanish Flu devastated the United States and Europe, claiming an estimated 50 million lives.

Building a home away from addiction: Carpenters for Christ plans to establish 'clean living home' for women leaving jail, rehabilitation facilities

Posted 10/17/2020 in Columbus & Lowndes County

When Julia Chavez walked into the Lowndes County Adult Detention Center one Friday night in 2016, the sound of the jail door clicking made her stomach flip, she said.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Columbus woman 'never scared' during her bout with cancer, surgery

Posted 10/16/2020 in Columbus & Lowndes County

After two decades working at Golden Triangle Radiology, Lee Hackett is used to being in close proximity to other people's breast cancer diagnoses. But she never expected to receive her own diagnosis, she said, until it happened 10 years ago when she was 54.

Trip Hairston named supervisors president after serving only 10 months on board

Posted 10/16/2020 in Columbus & Lowndes County

After serving on the Lowndes County Board of Supervisors for just 10 months, District 2's Trip Hairston will soon become the board's president. John Holliman, who represents District 3 and has acted as president for almost four months, amended Thursday's meeting agenda and quietly nominated Hairston to the role.

Independent auditor finds minor 'timing issues' at CMSD

Posted 10/15/2020 in Columbus & Lowndes County

The Columbus Municipal School District Board of Trustees approved an independent audit for the year ending on June 30, 2019, during Wednesday's meeting, a report that listed a handful of minor irregularities that have been addressed.

Hyde-Smith touts Trump's economic, 'America First' agenda

Posted 10/14/2020 in Columbus & Lowndes County

Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith allowed no political space between her and President Donald Trump during her speech at Tuesday's Lowndes County Republican Women luncheon.

LCSD to expand internet connectivity throughout campuses

Posted 10/13/2020 in Columbus & Lowndes County

Lowndes County School District administrators plan to expand the district's Wi-Fi through parking lots and sports facilities within the next year, allowing members of the community -- and especially students -- to access the district's internet outside class.

CMSD, MUW plan partnership at renovated Hunt campus

Posted 10/12/2020 in Columbus & Lowndes County

Columbus Municipal School District hopes to reopen the Hunt campus -- destroyed by the February 2019 tornado -- as Hunt Experience Center in 2022, with a focus on both technology-assisted learning and hands-on workforce development, Superintendent Cherie Labat told The Dispatch.

Monday Profile: Warren hopes to impart life skills with athletic skills at new gym

Posted 10/12/2020 in Columbus & Lowndes County

Terrell Warren thought he had left his basketball days behind him. He moved to the Golden Triangle to "get away and start fresh" after playing high school basketball in his hometown of Birmingham. He attended Mississippi State University and then worked for Steel Dynamics in Lowndes County for 12 years. He has lived in Columbus since 2009 and is raising four children with his wife, Tiffany.

LCSD to explore refinancing its debt

Posted 10/11/2020 in Columbus & Lowndes County

At a meeting that barely had a quorum, the Lowndes County School District Board moved briskly through a light agenda but did take the first steps in reducing its bond debt.

Juveniles charged as adults in serious offenses, as last resort

Posted 10/9/2020 in Columbus & Lowndes County

On Monday, a day after a fire destroyed a church on North Lehmberg Road, Columbus Police Chief Fred Shelton did something he admits investigators rarely do: He recommended the teenage boy accused of setting the blaze be charged as an adult.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Early detection helps Columbus woman weather breast cancer without chemo

Posted 10/9/2020 in Columbus & Lowndes County

Tee Pittman remembers the day all too well. After a regular check up with her obstetrician gynecologist in May 2003, Pittman was pestered by her doctor about getting a mammogram. That very same day, if possible.

Isolation proving tough challenge for addicts during pandemic

Posted 10/9/2020 in Columbus & Lowndes County

The effects of COVID-19 are not limited to illness or death, but manifest in ways that impact even those who never test positive.

Photo: Celebrating Union Academy

Posted 10/8/2020 in Columbus & Lowndes County

Columbus Municipal School District Superintendent Cherie Labat addresses a group of local and state officials during the unveiling of a monument commemorating the 155th anniversary of Union Academy, the first public school for Black residents in Lowndes County, on Wednesday.

New CPD policy makes more detectives available for calls

Posted 10/7/2020 in Columbus & Lowndes County

Columbus City Council unanimously approved Tuesday night several changes in the police department's policy that established a schedule for on-call officers at its criminal investigation division (CID) and articulated the chain of command and the no-drinking rule while on duty.


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